A member of a local defence team who was captured earlier this month in Mandalay Region’s Madaya Township was found dead on Sunday with the calling card of the notorious pro-junta terror group Thwe Thout on his body.
Phoe Htaung, 27, had been in regime custody since April 8, when he was caught near the village of Aung Thapyay while trying to plant landmines on a road near a cement plant where around 100 junta troops were stationed.
His body was discovered on Sunday after a convoy of the soldiers was attacked near Kin, another village in the area, according to a defence team spokesperson.
“It appears that they brought Phoe Htaung with them when the convoy came into Kin on April 21 and shot him dead after we attacked them with explosives,” said the spokesperson.
“He was shot with a 5.56 mm bullet and had a Thwe Thout card on his body,” he added.
The self-styled vigilante group typically targets civilians linked to the ousted ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD). The bodies of its victims are often mutilated and dumped in public places as a warning to NLD supporters.
According to resistance sources in Madaya, a number of villages in the township have come under attack from regime forces in recent weeks, prompting a series of counterattacks using explosives dropped from drones.
“We’ve been conducting very frequent attacks with explosives in Madaya Township and I think they’re very desperate to regain control over the area,” said the spokesperson for an anti-regime group operating in the township.
Among the villages that have been targeted by junta columns in Madaya are Kin, Kyat Pyin, Ngar Lone Pyun, Shan Ywar, Seikttha, Yone Pin, Shar Say Chat, Eu Min, Chaung Pauk and Thapyay Hla, he added.
There have also been reports of attacks on junta columns and convoys in neighbouring Singu and Thabeikkyin townships, north of Madaya.